Do you have lofty ambitions? I’m on that never ending mission to learn and improve. This means I fail a lot! My ambitions in life are not to merely get by or survive but to make a difference, to create a company that builds a future where customers, employees, and our partnerships win. Lofty goals nonetheless! It is not easy, but I believe it is worthwhile.
The easy part for me is the dream. The hard part is the execution of the dream. We are all constantly bombarded by negative messages. Messages that confine us, restrict us, or make us stay within acceptable boundaries. Boundaries that limit risk and for that matter failure. Not that boundaries aren’t necessary in most cases they are. But the kind of boundaries that make you like everyone else. So I’m sitting here early Wednesday morning thinking about those subtle messages we all hear. You know what I mean? Those messages that say stay where you are, don’t take risk, live comfortably, think within the box, status quo is not always bad, etc.
Then I recall what W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne said in Blue Ocean Strategies. If we are to win in the future, we must stop competing with each other and the only way to beat the competition in the future is to stop trying. In essence we must go beyond competing. We must seize the moment! We must make new rules for the game! We must go beyond competing. In my industry you see it as clear as day. The market space gets crowded and profits and growth are reduced which turns into cutthroat competition. So how do you change that?
We do it by re-creating existing boundaries — set new rules! If you look like everyone else, you probably are! If you are similar to everyone else and it is perceived that way people will only select you based on PRICE! You see it in many industries such as real estate, insurance, mortgages, cell phones, health care, express package delivery, home videos, personal computers, discount retail, etc.
So what do you do it about it personally? You decommoditize your offering! You don’t think in the box, in fact you don’t even see a box. Get in a quiet space and dream. What would you change to re-create what you do? This can be a fun exercise but it takes thought.